Monday, August 20, 2012
Living independently and thriving with a disability is no task for the meek. Every day strains your body and your character. Every day brings new challenges, and every day is a test of endurance. But every day is also an opportunity for victory, and that’s what matters most. It is not the struggles people in the disabled community face, although that’s important. It is not the setbacks they encounter. What matters most is to go on, to make a difference, and to contribute in a positive way to the world around us. That’s what matters, and that’s what this blog is all about.
Dwight Owens is featured in the book “Still Standing.” He was an able-bodied, young man starting his career as a math teacher and football coach when tragedy struck. Tragedy came in the form of Herman Posey, a 71-year old drunk driver who rammed Dwight’s vehicle one rainy day in 2005 and changed Dwight’s life in a single instant. Dwight coded in the emergency room and was given up for dead. Against all odds, he survived. Punctured lungs, broken ribs, massive internal bleeding, dislocated organ, and a broken back were the least of Dwight’s concerns. His spine was severed at T-9, and he would be paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life.
We’ve all heard the story before. What’s different here, however, is Dwight’s triumphant recovery and decision to make it count for something. Perhaps it’s not so different. After two years of surgery after surgery, life-threatening setback after life-threatening setback, and a grueling rehabilitation regimen, Dwight emerged with an unwavering resolution in his heart. He would make it all count for something. Dwight would share his story and bring hope to others with disabilities. And he would share his story and let the world know that a disability is not a death sentence. As Dwight says, “I can do anything any able-bodied person can do. Maybe a little more slowly, but I can do it all.” It’s that spirit and resolve that brought Dwight to the world on inspiration speaking. He shares his story with tens of thousands, offered the lessons he’s learned to the world at large, and let his infectious humor uplift the hopeless. Dwight is a prominent speaker throughout the South, and his work saves lives.
Come join us on this blog as we bring Dwight’s story of hope to an even broader audience.